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Votes

Letter: On Right Side For Public Health


— To the Editor:

This week, Mayor Euille took a decisive stand in support of public health. He joined with 90 other mayors, together representing more than 33 million Americans, and submitted a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency in support of the Agency’s recently-finalized Mercury and Air Toxics Standards.

The new air quality standards call for national limits on mercury and other toxics from the nation’s single largest source of mercury pollution: coal-fired power plants. The standards will protect young children from developmental problems associated with mercury contamination, and prevent up to 11,000 premature deaths and 5,700 hospital and emergency room visits each year.

In the most basic terms, these standards will improve the lives of children across the country, helping to reduce the number of infants born with impairments in the way they walk, talk, read, write, and learn thanks to mercury contamination.

Mayor Euille and the Alexandria City Council are to be commended for their efforts to combat air pollution from the GenOn power plant, the largest local source of air pollutants like mercury, and contributing to the commitment by GenOn to close that plant this year. By signing this letter, Mayor Euille will help to reduce pollution from other coal-fired power plants, both in Alexandria and across the country.

Mayor Euille should be applauded for understanding the real day-to-day needs of protecting the health of Alexandrians. His support for public health and strong mercury standards represents the type of leadership that all elected officials should aspire to emulate.

Dean Amel, Chair

Sierra Club-Mount Vernon Group